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Pogba, Lukaku on the move from Man United?

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Two of Manchester United’s star players have been linked with moves away from Old Trafford.

A report from Calciomercato.com claims that Paul Pogba‘s agent, Mino Raiola, has agreed “a deal in principle” for Barcelona to sign the French international midfielder. Per the report, Arturo Vidal has been persuading Barcelona’s coach Ernesto Valverde to push for the move for his former teammate at Juventus.

Speaking of Juve, it seems like Romelu Lukaku fancies a move to Turin. Speaking during the international break, Lukaku was asked about the reigning Italian champions and if he’d ever want to move to Serie A.

“Why not?” Lukaku told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I hope it happens. Juve have a great project in place and they just keep going. Every year they try to get stronger. Without doubt, Juve are one of the two-three best teams in Europe. They’ve got a great coach on the bench and extraordinary players in every area of the team.”

What is the likelihood of one or both of these deals happening?

Pogba, 25, heading to Barca has been rumbling along for quite some time but given the vast amount of cash Barcelona already spend on wages, how on earth will they be able to generate the funds to not only sign Pogba but pay his weekly salary? If they sold one of their star players for a huge transfer fee, then maybe this would happen. Until then, Raiola can agree the deal in principle but United seem to have little interest in selling Pogba, despite his clashes with Jose Mourinho over the past few seasons.

Lukaku, 25, has over three years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined United from Everton in the summer of 2017 and given his output of 31 goals in 62 games for the Red Devils, few could argue he hasn’t delivered what has been asked of him. Even if his record against the top-six teams isn’t the best, Lukaku is the focal point of United’s attack and you could argue he isn’t getting the kind of service he needs week in, week out.

There is no way Pogba and Lukaku would be allowed to leave United at the same time, and even if Mourinho left between now and the end of the season, they’d likely stick around to see who the new manager would be.

The timing of this report and Lukaku’s comments is rather interesting. After a tough run of games for Mourinho and with his job said to be in danger, hearing some of United’s players are either keen on other clubs or have their agents working behind-the-scenes on a move suggests that they believe Mourinho will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.

Oxlade-Chamberlain back in Liverpool training

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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in Liverpool training, nine months after a horrible injury cost him the chance to appear in the UEFA Champions League Final.

Initially ruled out for the duration of the 2018-19 season following an ACL year, “The Ox” is giving the Reds a boost in Dubai.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

The 25-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain posted five goals and seven assists in his first season at Liverpool.

Oxlade-Chamberlain has 32 England caps and 283 senior appearances between Southampton, Arsenal, and Liverpool. He left the Gunners in part because of a desire to play a more central role in the midfield.

Oxlade-Chamberlain detailed his recovery late last year. There’s yet to be discussion of when he might be fit to return to match play, but Liverpool will be careful with its industrious playmaker.

Montreal owner Saputo hands presidency duties to Gilmore

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Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo is giving the reigns of his club to a new president.

Saputo announced Tuesday that he’s handing over presidency duties to Kevin Gilmore, the former chief operating officer of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

The Saputo family founded the Impact in 1992, and Joey Saputo shepherded the club into Major League Soccer.

The Impact is coached by Remi Garde, the former Aston Villa boss, and has Designated Players in Ignacio Piatti and Saphir Taidir. The Bleu-blanc-noir just started training camp.

Cardiff “very distressed,” “praying for positive news” regarding Sala

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Cardiff City executive director Ken Choo has released a statement on the missing flight from France to Wales which carried new signing Emiliano Sala.

Crews in Wales continue to search for the plane, which disappeared from radar late Monday night.

Fans have flocked to Cardiff City Stadium and Nantes town square to lay flowers in hopes of a miraculous recovery for Sala and his pilot.

From Cardiff City’s official site:

“We were very shocked upon hearing the news that the plane had gone missing. We expected Emiliano to arrive last night into Cardiff and today was due to be his first day with the team.

“Our owner, Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and chairman, Mehmet Dalman, are all very distressed about the situation.

“We made the decision first thing this morning to call off training with the thoughts of the squad, management staff and the entire Club with Emiliano and the pilot.

“All of us at Cardiff City FC would like to thank our fans, and the entire footballing family for their support at this difficult time.

“We continue to pray for positive news.”

Ronaldo pleads guilty to tax fraud at Madrid court

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MADRID (AP) Cristiano Ronaldo has pleaded guilty to tax fraud and received a two-year suspended sentence.

The Juventus forward, who was facing charges stemming from his days at Real Madrid, was in court for about 45 minutes and signed an agreement which will cost him nearly 19 million euros ($21.6 million) in fines.

[ MORE: Latest on Emiliano Sala ]

Ronaldo arrived at court in a black van and was wearing a black sports coat and black pants. He walked up some stairs leading to the court house and even stopped to sign an autograph.

Ronaldo made the deal to plead guilty with Spain’s state prosecutor and tax authorities last year.

In Spain, a judge can suspend sentences for two years or less for first-time offenders.

In 2017, a state prosecutor accused Ronaldo of four counts of tax fraud from 2011-14 worth 14.7 million euros ($16.7 million). Ronaldo was accused of having used shell companies outside Spain to hide income made from image rights.

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